Rotherham dad takes on marathon a month for Sheffield Children’s

Once again, Rotherham dad of two Joe Lee has committed himself to running a marathon a month for an entire year to raise vital funds for a charity close to his heart.

The 32-year-old first began his mammoth fitness challenges in 2021, and this year is taking on a marathon a month to raise funds for The Children’s Hospital Charity that supports Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Having worked at Sheffield Children’s Hospital previously, Joe has been inspired by not only his patients and families but also his previous colleagues. Using Charity-funded equipment and facilities on a daily basis, Joe has experienced state-of-the-art equipment, renovations of wards, and life-saving devices that truly make an impact on child healthcare.

Sheffield Children’s is a leader in children’s health and shapes future paediatric care globally. Professionally, many colleagues are amongst the best in their fields, being recognised nationally and internationally.

Understanding the importance of fundraising for Sheffield Children’s, Joe decided it was time to fundraise throughout 2024, taking on a marathon a month to raise even more money for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Joe said: “I’ve always liked having a good running challenge, be it a marathon or an obstacle challenge. As a dad myself, I’m determined to set a good example for my children, not just in terms of challenging yourself, but also giving back.”

Currently raising £2million towards the build of a brand-new research and technology centre, The Children’s Hospital Charity is a key partner and funder of the National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT) - which will be run by Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust and based at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Joe added: “Having worked at Sheffield Children’s, I’ve been on the front line in the most difficult moments of a person’s life. The Charity helps Sheffield Children’s go above and beyond the NHS provision, and I’m proud to not only fundraise for the Trust, but to have worked on the other side – actually using brilliant facilities, equipment and technology that saves lives.”

The NCCHT will be a place to develop world-leading research and build new technologies to solve the biggest challenges in children's healthcare. It will bring together children, clinicians, inventors and engineers under the same roof, with state-of-the-art facilities for manufacturing, digital development and the opportunity to deliver Sheffield Children’s clinical care.

With a fundraising target of £3,000, Joe is determined to raise as much money as possible for the life-changing cause.

Joe said: “The support so far has been incredible! Whether it’s high fives on a running course, wishing good luck, or sparing any change to donate. I’m so grateful to be supported by family and friends, and it’s amazing to have my little ones cheering me on every step of the way, knowing I’m doing this for children just like them.”

Juggling his marathons with being a dad to two young daughters and lecturing full time at Sheffield Hallam University, Joe wants others to get involved in fundraising, explaining: “Taking part in a simple challenge, running or not, anyone can raise funds for a good cause. Before the pandemic, I wasn’t a runner, but I built up to it and the motivation of Sheffield Children’s kept me going.”

Phoebe Powell, Community & Events Fundraising Assistant at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Joe’s commitment is inspiring. Completing one marathon alone is impressive, never mind one a month for an entire year! It’s so special when we have a supporter take on a challenge who has had first-hand experience of the impact of the Charity’s fundraising. We’re incredibly proud of Joe for taking on the challenge once again and can’t thank him enough.”

To donate to Joe’s fundraising page, visit

To find out more about the NCCHT, visit

Image credit: Derrick Wess